Log In

George Axelrod Edit Profile

playwright

George Axelrod was an American playwright and a member of Authors League American, Dramatists Guild.

Background

Axelrod, George was born on June 9, 1922 in New York City. Son of Herman and Beatrice (Carpenter) Axelrod.

Career

Axelrod was a stage manager and actor before he began writing for TV. That led to the Broadway success of his play The Seven Year Itch, and Hollywood invitations.

Phffft (54, Mark Robson) was his first film, from his own story. As well as the two Monroe films, he has scripted Breakfast at Tiffany's (61, Blake Edwards), a cool bowdlerization of Capotes story; The Manchurian Candidate (62, John Frankenheimer); Paris When It Sizzles (63, Richard Quine); How to Murder Your Wife (64, Quine), an amusing use of the profession of cartoonist; he also wrote the play of Goodbye Charlie (64, Vincente Minnelli).

In the mid-sixties, he started directing his own material: two sex-oriented comedies. Lord Love a Duck (66) and The Secret Life of an American Wife (68). The latter is a soulless thing made for Walter Matthau’s virtuosity. But Lord Love a Duck is his best script, helped by the inventive presence of Tuesday Weld as a blonde more sensitive than the script's conception of her.

After several years of obscurity, he got another credit as writer on The Lady Vanishes (79, Anthony Page). He also cowrote The Holcroft Covenant (85, Frankenheimer) and got a story- adaptation credit on The Fourth Protocol (87, John Mackenzie).

Membership

Member of Authors League American, Dramatists Guild.

Personality

Axelrod was a very good representative of the continuing influence on Hollywood of Broadway’s fast repartee, decorative snideness, and skillful construction. His humor is too knowing, cold, and too much based on the lewd sneer to rival the work of Garson Kanin. Axelrod is indelibly associated with Marilyn Monroe, on account of his writing on Bus Stop (56, Joshua Logan) and The Seven Year Itch (55, Billy Wilder) and because of his reminiscences of her since her death. In both films she is a sexual object, unaware of the effect she has on other people.

Although Axelrod did not write Let's Make Love, Monroe has a line in it that might have been a reference to his stvle: “I got tired of being ignorant. I never knew what people were referring to.”

Connections

Married Gloria Washburn on February 28, 1942 (divorced in June 1954). They got 2 children Peter, Steven.

His second wife was Joan Stanton, October 1954. They had two children- Nina, Jonathan.